I WAS told that ordinary citizens in China are ignoring issues on territorial disputes between their country and its neighbors.
A source said only the Chinese military is paying attention to problems like the tension in the West Philippine Sea which is a very big deal to the Philippines including ordinary Filipinos.
“In China, people don’t really talk about what’s happening in WPS. For them, it’s nothing,” he said.
What’s happening in WPS is important only to the Chinese military who are mainly composed of former farmers ‘hungry’ for land or territory, the informant explained.
“In contrast, most of the Chinese citizens are hardworking and can feed themselves. They are not likely to resort to aggression to gain wealth. Instead, they work hard for it,” he added.
My take, however, is that we Filipinos are taking the WPS seriously because we are victims of China’s aggressive expansion drive.
If we build structures and take our fishing boats near the coastal waters of China, would the Chinese people stay calm?
At any rate, I wonder why the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. or FFCCCII is not included in the list of business groups supporting call for China to withdraw their vessels from Julian Felipe in WPS.
Several business groups have expressed their support to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, other government officials, and various groups who want the Chinese vessels away from that coastal area.
These groups include the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development, Filipina CEO Circle, Judicial Reform Initiative, Cebu Business Club, and Iloilo Business Club, Inc.
“Our exclusive right over the Julian Felipe Reef carries with it the utilization of, and the obligation to protect, its economic benefits, such as its rich marine life and mineral deposits, for the well-being of each and every Filipino,” the business groups said.
According to the National Task Force for West Philippine Sea, there is presence of around 200 Chinese vessels at the Julian Felipe Reef, which is within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
“Julian Felipe Reef is historically and by law undisputed Philippines territory, as was most clearly established in the 2016 ruling based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas,” the business groups added.
They said the Philippines and China had been under colonizers, who exploited the natural resources of the nations.
As China has strong economic and military power, the business groups also called on the neighboring country “to refrain from being an imperial power”.
“In 1974, Deng Xiaoping said ‘If one day China should change her color and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it’,” the business groups said in their statement.
They added the region will achieve prosperity for all only through mutual respect on sovereignty and peaceful coexistence.
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